Tuesday, 31 October 2017

my lambretta alphabet: letter #B

i diari della lambretta's illustrated abc

B for Bettinelli


you may be surprised to see a the drawing of a vespa in this blog {for the non-experts, that is a Vespa PX}, but I'd like to dedicate the second letter of this little illustrated alphabet of mine to Giorgio Bettinelli, adventurer, writer, singer and vespa rider. he literally had travelled the world on two wheels during the 90s: from Rome to Saigon (24000 km); from Alaska to Patagonia (36000 km); from Melbourne to Cape Town (52000 km); RTW for Patagonia to Tasmania (144000 km), and lastly across China. 
the intriguing tales of his wandering are told on 5 books he published in italian with Feltrinelli, and have been my inspiration since the day of my first road trip by scooter.

blogs & websites 

actually, I am not an expert or a fan of scooter related blogs and websites. I rarely read them, because they rarely cover the topics I am more interested about (i.e. travels, road trips, best roads, vintage nice stuff, stylish places...) and they usually are very male-oriented (nothing bad about it, I suppose they speak to their right target). anyway, I tried to put together a small list of good addresses that could be, in my opinion, interesting for a vespa / lambretta / vintage scooter enthusiast:


  • scooterdepoca.com the italian forum about vintage vespa and lambretta which has been the number one reference site for us during these last years as lambretta owners
  • lambretta.me has detailed description of every lambretta models
  • scooterismo.it the "bible" for italian scooterboys 

  • Scootering is the website of the popular UK magazine
  • lambrettista: a blog entirely dedicated to the finest scooter in the world  
  • racing lambrettas is Paolo Catani's website about racing lambrettas, with a loooot of wonderful pictures and infos. it's written in italian and english
  • Scooter Lounge: repair guide, buyers guide and blog (about vespa and lambretta)
  • vespamore is a blog with a great collection of beautiful pictures of lambrettas, vespas and other vintage motorcycles and cars
  • women who ride is not a vintage scooter specific blog, but it's an amazing collection of pictures (old and pretty new) of women who ride 
  • Scooter Clásico, spanish website about the world of vintage scooter
  • Racing Rétro looks like it hasn't been updated for a while, but it's a nice french blog with tons of interesting and pretty old pictures 

if you know any valid, nice, interesting blog or website you think I should add to my list, please write me!

mods cruising along Brighton seafront with their scooters in the Sixties - via British subcultures - mods  


during the Sixties, it was usual for the mods of southern England to ride to Brighton on bank holidays to show off their lambrettas and vespas and have occasional fights with their archenemies, the rockers -the story is summarised here on wikipedia and greatly shown on the movie Quadrophenia
to celebrate the famous "battle" of the two subculture groups in Brighton on 1964, present-time mods still gather in Brighton for the Brighton Mod Weekender every year (read more here). 
I'd really love to participate one day, and I hope to get the chance of visit the city soon.

mods riding their scooters along the seafront at Hastings, East Sussex, 4th August 1964. photo by Terry    Fincher/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images 
 a group of mods with their scooters in Brighton for the bank holiday. photo by Keystone via Getty Images 

mods on their scooters at the opening of the 1979 film Quadrophenia. via Daily Mail 


where can anyone buy a lambretta or a vespa these days? if you are not lucky enough to inherit one from your grandparents or parents, or to find one to restore in a old garage, the internet your best resource. the italian subito.it is still a good option, but I think you should also browse the many Facebook groups dedicated to the topic.

Vittorio Tessera - lambretta illustrated guide to the identification


on the bookshelf of a true lambretta lover, the books of Vittorio Tessera can not miss. I recommend the following, which are in italian or in italian and english:
the first four of the list are more handbook-like, with many technical parts, so the last one is my favourite. it tells the whole story of the lambretta world, with tons of vintage pictures and interviews.

all the titles listed above are very lambretta specific, but it does not means that the passion for the two wheels can not be fueled by other kind of books. for example, travel-oriented ones, like Bettinelli's road trip chronicles that I have already mentioned. if you have any recommendation, please tell me! 

our lambretta loaded with the baggage for a weekend trip 

baggage, bags and balancing them

as you know, we ride two-up, so when we leave for and adventure that is more than one day long, we have to burden our lambretta with two people and at least two backpacks. I say at least cause, in my experience, it rarely happens. we try to travel light, and usually our basic baggage is made of: one backpack each, one bag for rain gear, one light bag with camera and other stuff I need to have close at hand. if the trip is more than a few days long (like our journeys to Bosnia, Provence, Andalucia and Sicilia), we have to add one bag more. and, if we're going to a camping trip, a lot of space and weight is taken by tent and sleeping bags. we have two luggage racks, front and back, and we try to use both of them in any case, and I usually wear a backpack or a bag, too. 
loading the scooter for an upcoming trip is a balancing issue. our lambretta is strong and steady but we need to be careful and not overload her! 

ready for a camping trip


thank your for stopping by ♥
I am curious about your opinions! please, join the conversation.

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